In the morning, take the first bus from Shangri-La Bus Terminal and depart for Pudacuo at 8:00. When you reach the lake, the mist has just risen.
I strongly recommend Pudacuo to everyone. The scenery here is so beautiful. Some people say that Shangri-La is the pure land in many people’s hearts and must go once in a lifetime. Then Pudacuo is the pure land in the pure land.
After entering the scenic spot, tourists have to get on the scenic bus. On the bus, there will be an assigned tour guide called Zhuo Ma, which means the local girl, to explain to you the relevant information of the scenic area. To better protect and improve the environmental condition of the park, different scenic areas in the park will be opened to tourists at a different period.
We had good luck this time and visited three sections of hiking trails. The first part of the hike is in the mountains, with gravel roads all the way. Not many people choose this path, but I think it’s good to take a walk. The signs of the scenic area are very clear and informative, so there is no need to worry about getting lost (for the sake of the environmental protection, you can’t enter the deep hinterland at all).
The trees in this area are not dense, so you may find it’s quite hot and sunshine is burning when you walk through there. Surrounded by the so-called alpine meadows, the oxygen rate is considered high here and you can enjoy a better breath too.
The first section of the road ends at a small waterfall, which will take about 1.5 hours.
After the first section walking, you can go to the bus stop and take the bus to go to the next section of the hike.
The second section of the trekking route is around the Shudu Lake in Pudacuo, an important scenic spot. This section of the road is quite easy to walk because they are all plank roads. The scenery on this section of the road is also the most beautiful part, so there is a lot of tourists too. Many little squirrels are running around in the park.
I would like to appeal once again to everyone not to walk down the plank road. Many staff in the scenic area will remind you at any time that their attitude may be a bit tough, but everyone should also understand that because they are located in a plateau area after the vegetation is destroyed, It is difficult to restore the original appearance.
The altitude here is generally 3500 to 4000. There are mirror-like mountain lakes, beautiful grassy pastures in the scenic area, wetlands full of autumn atmosphere, and this is a paradise for animals and plants. In late autumn, the temperature in the scenic area is very low, so you’d better put on thicker clothes.
In the afternoon, after returning to Shangri-La, you can take a bus for 1 yuan to see the sunset over Songzanlin Temple. Known as Little Potala, it is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan.
When the car arrived at the gate of Songzanlin Temple, we were attracted. Arriving at the check-in point of the scenic spot, we can already feel the solemn and colourful Tibetan culture. The golden buildings are quite Tibetan characteristics. Looking at the past, it is like an extremely vivid landscape painting. This kind of beauty has only been seen in the picture scroll!
Shangri-La is a Tibetan style area, and the buildings are all Tibetan style, using large vermilion red. Note that it is not as convenient to use a mobile map to find a bus here. The name of the bus stop here is different from that on the map, and the direction of the car is not visible on the stop sign. The key is that the bus will not come for a long time, and it will wait a long time at the station before leaving. When I first saw this city, my impression was: the people here are very simple, enthusiastic and happy.
Napa Lake is also known as the Yila Grassland. In the rainy season, here is a floating flower lake. In the dry season in October, the lake continues to recede, giving way to the grassland. Riding the Napa Lake along the highway, including the round trip from the ancient city to Napa Lake, will not exceed 40 kilometres at most. Heading to Napa Lake around 9 a.m. and return to the ancient city around 4 or 5 p.m. This time is enough to have a lot of fun.
In the fertile grassland, the best time to shoot is in the morning. But it’s not Panahai that shines in my eyes. It’s a small village in the mountains nearby. The time I travel is more suitable. Flower sea. Blue sky, lake. It is simply a paradise in my mind. You can imagine a patch of white plum flowers clustering around this red-walled mud house, with a blue lake in the distance, and cattle and sheep strolling.
The clear blue colour of Lake Napa in winter looks too pretty to be real. There is no cloud in the sky, but the sun and the moon are shining together. This is why Shangri-La is also called the «city of the sun and the moon». On a clear and cloudless day, as long as you look up, you will find that the sun and the moon are high in the sky at the same time. It might because the air here is too clear, or the sky here is just considerably closer to us.
Shangri-La is originally a fictional place name in the novel “Disappearing Horizon” published by British novelist James Hilton in 1933. The book describes Shangri-La as a place located in a mysterious and peaceful valley at the western end of the Himalayas, where the residents believe in Tibetan Buddhism. In Western culture, Shangri-La usually means an ideal country with oriental mystery and harmony. Since then Shangri-La has aroused countless people’s yearning. Travelling to Shangri-La, you could appreciate the magnificent natural scenery of Baishuitai, Napa Lake, Mount Haba, Pudacuo National Park, and Meili Mountain. There are also loads of cultural and historical spots for you to explore, such as Shangri-La old town, Bai Ji Si Monastery, Ringha Monastery, Songzanlin Monastery and Cizhong.